Friday fun for the season of new starts

It’s the first Friday in September. Not the cheeriest of days, but a day for many to celebrate simply because it means that they’ve got through the first week of term. For others, it’s just another Friday to be got through. Either way, let’s find some fun…

To start, how about some DLR themed fun? The Secrets of the London Tube series has featured on previous Fridays, but as many of you will know, the DLR is considered to be a somewhat separate element of the network – nonetheless, the Secrets of the DLR is now available. For many Londoners it remains a line of mystery, never having cause to use it. However, for others, the joy of getting the driver’s seat on a DLR train never dies. [Further joys of living near Stratford: it’s where DLR trains begin, therefore the driver’s seat is highly attainable!]

If that gets your tube-geek juices going, let’s see how you fair on this (actually quite tricky) Buzzfeed quiz on the tube map. I will disclose that I got 24/25 – my knowledge of the outer rings of the Overground isn’t as good as it could be.

Talking of London, what about a bringing together of the world’s best city, excellent literature and maps? The result is utterly lovely and fascinating:

Exhib artwork.inddLiterary London Prints

And talking of maps, I’ve seen this map of an introvert’s heart a few times on Twitter recently, but wanted to find out where it was actually from (bad, bad Tweeters for not linking directly!). It’s by Gemma Correll and is quite frankly the truth about life as an introvert:

Map Introvert Heart

With the start of the university year fast approaching, now is not really a time for a ‘fun’ visit to Ikea – unless you thrive in a milieu of stressed parents and anxious offspring. [I say this, but Belfast Ikea was perfectly pleasant on Monday, despite a city-wide issue with chip and pin machines.] What is fun, if you’re a lover of Swedish furniture and meatballs, is this collection of every Ikea catalogue front cover since 1951, dutifully collated by Home Designing. I was pleased to discover that both the Poang chair and the Lack coffee table are older than I am…

IKEA-1951-CatalogIn 1951, Ikea seemed to be catering for the likes of Sherlock…

IKEA-1974-Catalog-600x521This would appear to epitomise the 70s’.

Thanks to a four-hour internet outage, this was published after 5pm, but no matter, hopefully it’s still fun!

Friday Fun with Ikea and God

After a bit of an absence, Friday Fun is back and with it, an eclectic range of weird and wonderful things to make the last working day of the week a brighter place.

To start, here’s the obligatory London Transport reference. Some clever person has put together an animation that allows you to switch between the London Underground map of today; what it looks like in ‘real’ geography; and Beck’s original design. You can happily spend several minutes clicking between the three.

Real underground map

The reason so many people are obsessed with this map is simply because it’s a fabulous piece of design. It’s simple, colourful, clear and helps you get where you need to go. Talking of simple and lovely design, I’ve recently discovered The Minimum Bible – who have designed a cover for each of the books of the Bible, both Old and New. It’s clever stuff, after all, what should the cover of the book in which God created the world look like? Or one that’s about the end of days?

GenesisRevelationLove this symmetry between Genesis & Revelation. 

Talking of diagrams and God, may many blessings fall upon the clever and funny people at Theologygrams! Handy venn diagrams, pie charts, and graphs illustrating various theological arguments. Thanks to my many weeks of angst over a 5,000 word exegesis of Galatians earlier this year, this depiction of Paul’s ‘wrath-o-meter’ caused me to chuckle:


My father, the systematic theologian and Barth fan, will appreciate these:



Moving on from theology and on to more sensible, weekend activities – specifically, heading to Ikea and the movies. In fact, why not combine them? Current box office #1 Gravity is a little intense, as is a Saturday or Sunday spent in the environs of Swedish furniture. Thus, some clever person has thought to combine them:

Finally, everyone loves a Friday quiz and what better than a game of Ikea or Death? Is the Scandinavian sounding word an item in the Ikea catalogue or a death metal band? Try your luck… (I scored a fairly respectable 14/20, which owes more to my studious memorisation of Ikea furniture names than my knowledge of obscure and weird looking bands.)


Ikea Philosophy

Not sure if this totally rings true, but I liked its sentiment. And it’s not often you see philosophy amongst the Flarkes, Ektorps, Billys and Bennos…

Beautiful new dawn

Is it just me, or is the first night sleeping under brand new sheets one of the best things ever?

I bought new sheets (for the first time in about 3 and a half years) whilst in Belfast a few weeks ago. They were about the only exciting thing I could buy in Ikea that would fit in my suitcase! I was determined not to put them on my bed until I’d thoroughly cleaned my room.

Last night, three weeks after returning from Belfast, I could finally open them thanks to a wet bank holiday weekend spent cleaning.